A/V Room









Moving Units - Dangerous Dreams

Review: Jack Foley

IT'S taken two long years for L.A.-based trio, Moving Units, to put out their debut album, Dangerous Dreams, and while the journey may, at times, have appeared nightmarish, the wait is probably worth it.

The album is a feisty little dance-punk experience with some belting tracks - but one which occasionally struggles to differentiate itself from the US-based disco-punk sound emanating from the likes of The Rapture and co.

It does start strongly, however, with Emancipation - a track rich in edgy lyrics ('you control me' / 'I'm your slave'), crashing cymbals, thumping basslines and a rigorous dancefloor workout midway through - providing a lively opener.

It is quickly followed by forthcoming single, Between Us & Them, which recalls the jagged guitar rifts of Franz Ferdinand and The Killers, set against the distinct vocals of lead singer, Blake Miller.

Indeed, it is a feature of the album that it oozes some fairly ferocious melodies, all driven by Chris Hathwell's unrelenting drums.

Yet while this can be inspiring, it can also get tiring, and the longer the album persists in driving up the tempo, the slightly less interesting it gets.

Dangerous Dreams works far better when mixing things up a bit, flitting between the disco grooves of Going For Adds (during which Miller's vocals sound spookily like a young Damon Albarn's), to the slightly more thoughtful, electronica-driven Anyone and its haunting vocals.

The chorus, in particular, features a memorable melody that really forces you to take notice.

The echoing guitars of Scars ensure that the quality is maintained, building to another album highlight, but it's downhill from that point as the album tends to relax into easy disco-punk rhythms and routine guitar rifts.

Given the vibe surrounding them, however, it's little wonder they are supporting the likes of Secret Machines already - which means their reputation ought to grow and grow.

For as Miller states: "Dangerous Dreams has little to do with the latest dance-punk phenomenon and more to do with the restless inner workings of three clumsy musicians who have no choice but to throw their heart and soul into these songs.

"The truth of the matter is, what we did at the time was a really honest emotional expression, but it just happened to coincide with a sort of musical zeitgeist."

It is the sort of honest statement that is born out in the raw style of the album - one which mostly impresses with its brashness and authenticity, but which can also appear, as Miller says, 'restless and clumsy'.

Track listing:
1. Emancipation
2. Between Us & Them
3. Available
4. Going for Adds
5. Unpersuaded
6. Anyone
7. Scars
8. Submission
9. Birds of Prey
10. Bricks & Mortar
11. Killer/Lover
12. Turn Away

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z